Thursday, December 18, 2014

The 2003 Dodger Fan Appreciation Baseball Card Sheet


Here is a look at the final Fan Appreciation Card Sheet in my collection.  I am unsure if these were created for other years, but I suspect they were.  If you happen to have a more up-to-date price guide (mine is from 2000) then please look it up and let me know.  Go here to check out all of my past post on this give-away.

This sheet is from 2003 and features perforated cards of Eric Gagne, Paul LoDuca and Hideo Nomo.

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A Story of Lost and Found - Vin Scully's 1988 World Series Ring


Something terrible had happened, but sooner than I could say, "I should blog this" the mystery was solved. Via a tweet from the @Dodgers, Vin Scully had lost his 1988 World Series ring:


Then, less than 10 minutes later the @Dodgers tweeted this:


Whew!  That was a close one.  I was worried that some unscrupulous person had walked off with his prize.  Worse yet, I was this close (hands spread about a foot across) to putting a hex on the person who would dare commit such an egregious act.  Heck, I was about to contact Vladimir Shpunt to send some "negative V" energy their way.

Seriousness aside, the best part of this brief episode (besides finding the ring) were some of the wisecracks found throughout twitter.  Check some of them out below:


A part of me is willing to believe the above is true.






Photo at the very top via WorldSeriesRings.com

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2014 Topps Five Star - The Dodger Base Autograph Cards

Topps newest Baseball brand to hit the market is an high-end product called Five Star.  A single box will cost you about $300 and you receive only six cards; five of which are guaranteed to be autographed.  Go here to see a complete checklist.

Featured below are all of the Dodger base autographed cards.  I'll have pics and a checklist of the remaining Dodger cards later on.  Of note, there is no Yasiel Puig autographed card in this set. 

Active/Retired Autographs

#FSA-AG Alex Guerrero                   #FSA-AGO Adrian Gonzalez

#FSA-CK Clayton Kershaw                 #FSA-FV Fernando Valenzuela

#FSA-HR Hanley Ramirez                    #FSA-SK Sandy Koufax

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Blog Kiosk: 12/18/2014 - Dodger Links - Brett Anderson, Chris Hatcher and Congrats Landreaux


Congrats, Kenny!  Fulfilling a promise made to his mother, former Dodger Kenny Landreaux graduated from ASU earlier this week.  Photo above via @camelbackranch on twitter.

Below are some links to check out:
Anderson generated ground balls 62% of the time with his slider from 2012-14, trailing only Felix Hernandez (66.3%) among starters throwing the pitch at least 500 times. Looking at his pitch location, it’s easy to see why. Anderson frequently spots his slider low in the zone, to his glove side.
Considering it’s still December and games are nearly four months away, you can argue the Dodgers haven’t improved their chances in 2015, but it’s hard to argue they haven’t had a vision. As Friedman said over and over at his introductory media conference, it’s about trusting the process.
As we wait for the Matt Kemp trade with the Padres - and its sidecar transaction, Jimmy Rollins from the Phillies - to become official, here is a look back at a December Dodgers trade that ended up not coming to fruition.
  • The cartoonish artistic stylings of our newest Dodger players just won't stop.  Featured above is a creation made by Dodger fan Ernie Villa on twitter.  So naturally, I had to make a fantasy Baseball card of it that you can see below; using the 2007 Topps Baseball design.  I wonder when this viral sensation will become a virus.
  • As you've heard by now, President Obama is moving toward normalizing relations with Cuba.  Politics aside, I wondered how this effects Baseball.  @MLB_PR on twitter released as statement addressing this.  Check that out below.  I also wondered if we may one day see ballclubs play exhibition or spring games there again.  Wouldn't that be a blast.  I wonder what Tommy and some of the other older Dodgers would think of that.


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The 2001 Dodger Fan Appreciation Baseball Card Sheet


In appreciation of the new Dodgers front office and the myriad number of moves they've made recently (save the Kemp trade that has me miffed, but slowly coming around) check out the above 2001 Dodger Fan Appreciation Baseball card sheet.  As you know, these were given out during the last home game of the season on Fan Appreciation Day.  Go here to check out all of my past post on this give-away.

This sheet features perforated cards of Gary Sheffield, Chan Ho Park and Paul LoDuca. 

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Blog Kiosk: 12/17/2014 - Dodger Links - McCarthy, Puig Lawsuit and those New Kings Jerseys are Awful


There are plenty of photographs of the field at Ebbets.  Heck, there are more photos of the advertising on the outfield walls than I can count.  But there are hardly any pics of what's inside the stadium; in particular the rotunda located behind home plate.  Via @MLBcathedrals on twitter they share a rare photo that you can see above.

The rotunda was 80-foot round and made of Italian marble.  Also, there were ornate chandeliers hanging from the rafters that had light fixtures shaped as Baseballs.  To most fans it was a sight to behold, and in homage to this Baseball wonder Citi Field, where the Mets play today, recreated it.  They call it the "Jackie Robinson Rotunda."

Below are some links to check out:
Investigators say Suarez was one of the Miami-based financiers of the 2012 smuggling venture in which Puig was taken by boat from Cuba to Mexico. The financiers were to receive a cut of the seven-year, $42 million contract Puig later signed with the Dodgers.

Prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of any money Suarez got from Puig's contract, in addition to a house, a condominium, a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz.
  • Via Cary Osborne at Dodger Insider, "In 2015, the Dodgers will go to WAR with a formidable top four."
  • Via Blue Skinny Fan, "Nomar Garciaparra Autograph Signing at Glendale Galleria (12/13/14)."  There are some nice photos to look through.
  • Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "Dodgers send Noel Cuevas to Rockies in Juan Nicasio deal."
  • Just another fantastic post by Night Owl Cards, "Thinking outside the box."  I don't think it's a stretch to say that the 1991 Topps set is the best and most under-appreciated set of the modern card era.
  • I am not a fan of the new LA Kings Stadium Series Jersey.  Pic below via @SI_NHL on twitter.  What's up with the white pants? It makes it look like he's wearing pajamas.  Others have noted that it is Stormtrooper-like.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Brandon McCarthy is Now Officially a Dodger


Just in case you didn't already know, the Brandon McCarthy signing was made official this morning.  Via a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of free-agent right-handed pitcher Brandon McCarthy to a four-year contract.
McCarthy, 31, established career highs in wins (10), strikeouts (175) and innings pitched (200.0) last season with the Diamondbacks and Yankees, going 10-15 with a 4.05 ERA in 32 starts. He ranked ninth among MLB starters with a 5.30 strikeout-to-walk ratio and averaged only 1.49 walks per 9.0 innings, the eighth-best mark in the Majors. Beginning with his final two starts with the D-backs and through his 14 starts with New York following his July 6 trade, McCarthy was one of the game's best pitchers, going 9-5 with a 2.80 ERA (32 ER/103.0 IP) from June 27 to the conclusion of the season.
Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times also shared some contract details on twitter:


And as I stated in a post earlier today, the Dodgers DFA'd Brian Wilson to make room for McCarthy on the 40-man roster.  Dodger GM Farhan Zaidi had this to say about it,
"We don’t want to be sort of tied down by financial obligations — we’re just trying to build the best team we can for 2015."
Well, this morning Zaidi held a telephone press conference today, and I had an opportunity to listen in on it.  Below are some brief notes on what was discussed:
  • Brandon McCarthy made changes to his winter routine by doing some upper body lifting.  Zaidi believes that should make him a more durable player going forward.
  • Last season McCarthy added 2MPH to his fastball; which is unheard of for a pitcher of his age.
  • The 4-year contract to McCarthy was based on an interest in a long-term solution and in response to potential opt-out clauses to Kershaw and Greinke contracts.  Zaidi also mentioned that the marketplace dictated the length of deal.
  • Zaidi continue to emphasize that McCarthy pitched 200 innings last season.
  • Said Stan Conte was heavily involved in vetting the health of both McCarthy and Anderson.
  • Zaidi refused to say whether they would be looking around for another starting pitcher, saying "we feel very good about where we are having five starting pitchers who give us a chance to win every time out."
  • Farhan made the point of saying that when he was with the A's no pitcher made him more comfortable on the mound.  He knew McCarthy would execute their plan.
  • With regards to pending trades, they have no worries or concerns.  They are just logistical issues; i.e. scheduling physicals, etc.
  • Farnhan then stated the obvious, "On the defensive side of the ball, I do think that we've upgraded significantly."
At this point they announced that Brian Wilson had been DFA'd, and my mind went blank.  Like, really?  I just didn't think the Dodgers would walk away from his huge contract.  Of course, this is a different crew and they obviously want to quickly rid themselves of anything that might get in the way of their plans.  In fact, Zaidi stated that they just didn't consider Wilson to be one of their top 7 reliever options.

Later in the afternoon, Brandon McCarthy held his own telephone press interview.  Below are my notes:
  • Was born in Glendale, but lived in Pasadena til 11. 
  • Brandon idolized Orel Hershiser when he was a kid - he recalled running into him at Disneyland as a kid.
  • Said, "there was nothing that didn’t intrigue me about the Dodgers.  I grew up 10 miles from the stadium. The Dodgers were what I knew."
  • He looks forward to learning from Kershaw and Greinke.
  • He did some heavy lifting over winter to emphasize strength in shoulders and his back; lifting heavy and lifting often.  Knows that runs counter to what most folks think a pitcher should do.
  • He had a seizure after a head injury in 2013 and felt weaker due to a 13lbs. weight loss.  As a result, he decided to get into workout program to gain strength.  
  • Said Brett Anderson ( a former teammate in Oakland) is a "good quiet guy." An "unbelievable competitor... Always envisioned himself as being great... It's been devastating to see him go thru all these injuries."  He looks forward to spending the season with him and seeing him perform.

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Clayton Kershaw Can't Sing - And More Videos from the ACCA


Clayton can strike you out.  He can win Cy Young Awards and an MVP.  Heck, he's an overall good guy.  But, he surely can't sing.

The American Country Countdown Awards were last night, and NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson and Clayton Kershaw were asked to announce the winner for the 'Artist of the Year.'  Instead of the usual staid performance you'd expect, we were surprised with a duet.  A horrible, off-key, ear-shattering serenade.  Watch it below (Hat Tip: Stu Hothem at Nascar.com)

Oh boy!  I don't know what else to say.

While you're trying to rid yourself of what you've seen above, check out a couple of videos of Clayton and his wife on the red carpet below:

Video Link:

RaeLynn and Chelsea Cannell interview Clayton Kershaw on the Red Carpet at the 1st Annual American Country Countdown Awards. Clayton Kershaw talks about presenting Artist of the Year with Jimmie Johnson, being excited to meet Florida Georgia Line, and being a Taylor Swift fan.

Video Link:

Pic at the very top via @ACCAwards on twitter.

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Brian Wilson has been DFA'd


Holy Moly.  I didn't think they'd do this.

During this afternoons telephone press conference regarding the official signing of Brandon McCarthy, it was announced that the corresponding move to the 40-man roster would be to DFA Brian Wilson.

So, unless Wilson accepts a demotion to the minor leagues, he has likely already spent his last days within the Dodger organization.  There was no word of a possible trade for him, but if something comes along the Dodgers will consider it. 

Wilson is owed $9.5Mil for 2015, so that's quite a bit of change the Dodgers are walking away from.

Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014

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Welcome to the Blue, Brett Anderson!


The Dodgers appear to have signed their #5 starter and his name is Brett Anderson.  Follow him on twitter here: @BAnderson_30.  His impending signing was initially announced by Buster Olney on twitter:


Anderson is a 26-year old left-hander who can throw a fastball, a curve, a changeup and a slider for strikes.  Originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2006 Draft, he quickly rose up the ladder.  In 2008 he was ranked the 36th-best prospect in the Major Leagues, and 7th overall by Baseball America in 2009.  Unfortunately, a lengthy injury history has slowed his progress.  Go to Baseball Prospectus to see the ugly details. 

Still, he remains an interesting player with significant upside potential.  After all, when he's healthy, he's very good.  Per Ron Cervenka's recent story at Think Blue LA:
Make no mistake about it, when Anderson is healthy he has been quite effective. In his career 81 starts over six MLB seasons he is 27-32 with a 3.73 ERA – not top-of-the-rotation stuff but excellent numbers for a fourth or fifth starter. In his 494.0 major league innings pitched he has a K/9 ratio of 7.0, a BB/9 ratio of 2.4 and a K/BB ratio of 2.90. But where Anderson is perhaps most effective is his ground ball rate of 55.4% (61% in his limited work in 2014).
From what I understand, Anderson still needs to have a physical performed by the Dodgers, so this is far from a done deal (especially considering his injury-riddled 2014).  So, stay tuned.

For more stories about Anderson check these out:

In celebration of Anderson's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above 2 fantasy cards for him.  I used Anderson's own avatar photograph on twitter and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.  Which one do you like best - the normal photo or the photoshopped madness pic?  BTW, I believe the photoshop pic was created by twitter user @Dezzerrayy and subsequently adopted by Anderson. 

Below are the career stats for Brett Anderson, via Baseball-Reference:


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